In this Trust document can you explain the meaning of " notwithstanding"?

I believe the Trustees feel it means in spite of. My interpretation is that it means with exception of.

Here's how it's written,

On page 29 of the 5th Amendment, the definition of education is outlined for the Education Trust. It is:

  1. Definition of "Education." Notwithstanding subparagraph 5(b) of Article Twenty of this agreement, as used in this Article only, the term "education" shall mean only undergraduate and graduate study leading to a degree, in any and all fields whatsoever, whether of a professional character or otherwise, at an accredited university, college, or other institution of higher learning, whether public or private. The activities described in this paragraph may be carried on either in the United States or elsewhere. In determining payments to be made for all such education, the Trustee shall take into account and may pay for the beneficiary's reasonable costs of tuition, room, board (whether or not charged by an educational institution at which such individual shall be a student), books, laboratory or other equipment or tools (including computer hardware and software), fees, travel to and from school, transportation and charges for tutoring.

Thank you so much for any input and observations.

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  • 2
    How can you expect an answer without including subparagraph 5(b)? – George White Mar 10 at 4:01
  • I agree with @GeorgeWhite. You should have posted the language of 5(b) as well so one can assess whether "notwithstanding" may be interpreted any differently than the common meaning of the term in a way that is more consistent with the intent of the contract/agreement. – Iñaki Viggers Mar 10 at 9:13

What is the meaning of notwithstanding in this context?

The clause that starts with "notwithstanding" narrows down the levels of studies that are eligible for payment by the Trustee(s). In other words, for purposes of payment of benefits, "education" can be interpreted only as "undergraduate and graduate study", and thus it overrides --only pursuant to that clause-- the wide encompassing notion of "education" as defined in paragraph 5(b).

The clause implies that any other levels of studies, such as "elementary or high schools", are not eligible for payment by the Trustee(s).

The inclusion of "notwithstanding" seems intended to reflect the awareness of apparent discrepancy of the definitions of "education", and to consequently clarify the intent that paragraph 5(b) be regarded as the appropriate definition of "education" for everything except the matter of payments.

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It means in spite of subparagraph 5(b) of Article Twenty

The trustees are right.

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